Corporate sales boost Sodexo

City A.M. Reporter
FRENCH caterer Sodexo kept its 2011 goals for higher sales and profits, despite North American unemployment, a struggling public sector in Europe, and rising food prices that make the economic climate challenging.

The world’s second-biggest catering services company after Britain’s Compass Group posted a 10.5 per cent rise in fiscal first-quarter sales yesterday.

Sodexo benefitted from improving demand from corporate clients in Europe and North America, and buoyant emerging markets.

“While the economic climate causes us to continue to be cautious, we reaffirm our objectives for the current fiscal year and the medium term,” chief executive Michel Landel said.

Landel said that Sodexo had seen a “slight uptick” in food prices and was budgeting food inflation of around three per cent this year, expecting to pass “some of it” to its clients.

He said that the pipeline for new contracts was “very strong” in healthcare in North America but that the public sector was still struggling in Europe.

“We are seeing continued softness in education and healthcare in the public sector in Europe and Britain,” he said.

Sodexo manages canteens and facilities for office workers, armed forces, schools and prisons, and provides vouchers for meals and gifts.